Theory of Religion
Zone Books, 1989 - 126 páginas
Theory of Religion brings to philosophy what Georges Bataille's earlier book The Accursed Share brought to anthropology and history, namely, an analysis based on notions of excess and expenditure. No other work of Bataille's, and perhaps no other work anywhere since Weber's Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, has managed to draw so incisively the links between man's religious and economic activities.
"Religion," according to Bataille, "is the search for a lost intimacy." In a brilliant and tightly reasoned argument, he proceeds to develop a "general economy" of man's relation to this intimacy: from the seamless immanence of animality to the shattered world of objects and the partial, ritual recovery of the intimate order through the violence of the sacrifice. Bataille then reflects on the archaic festival, in which he sees not only the glorious affirmation of life through destructive consumption but also the seeds of another, more ominous order -- war.
Bataille then traces the rise of the modern military order, in which production ceases to be oriented toward the destruction of a surplus and violence is no longer deployed inwardly but is turned to the outside. In these twin developments one can see the origins of modern capitalism.
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The objective personality of the supreme being situates it in the world next to
other personal beings of the same nature , subjects and objects at the same time
, like it , but from which it is clearly distinct . Men , animals , plants , heavenly
... understand nor reply . Sacrifice essentially turns its back on real relations . If it
took them into account , it would go against its own nature , which is precisely the
opposite of that world of things on which distinct reality is founded 44 THE DATA
The world of the spirit ( having few connections with the first world of spirits –
where the distinct forms of the object were joined to the indistinction of the
intimate order ) is the intelligible world of the idea , whose unity cannot be broken
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Where This Book Is Situated
TWO RELIGION WITHIN THE LIMITS OF REASON
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